“Hello!”, says the fledgling osprey. “Have you signed up yet for Doc Ellen’s Osprey Webinar this coming Tuesday? Please join me and my kin and Doc as we explore my family and our neighbors at Jordan Lake!”

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Jordan Lake, Haw River 16 minutes after the sun rose … I was tracking a male osprey as he came in over the dam and almost disappeared down into the shadows of the riprap and the sudden glare of the sun. I watched the osprey flare and snatch his fish and then the quiet morning exploded in osprey shrieks and great blue heron gronks. A large light grey shadow was closing in on the osprey. I don’t know if the heron had had an eye on the same fish as the osprey or that the heron took exception to the osprey disturbing his morning fishing. The osprey fled the river with his fish and out over the dam and the heron grumbled his way back to the riprap shoreline.

Jordan Lake: Captain Doug and I aren’t sure that the youngster’s flight this morning was his very first, but it is a fair guess that he couldn’t have been flying for more than a day or so because he wasn’t seen flying yesterday. Enjoy the young male as he leaves his startled sisters behind and goes to explore the world!

Jordan Lake: Mom Osprey sets about finding the right place in the nest for the new pinecone that Dad Osprey delivered. All ospreys really enjoy bringing all kinds of trinkets, pinecones, bark pieces, bright colored papers to their nests. Mom Osprey has to get the new pinecone placed just right and, as is true with all decorating decisions, different placements of furnishings have to be tried…

Jordan Lake: All over the lake, the osprey chicks are growing fast. They readily interact with the environment. Here two chicks, one on each side of Mom Osprey, are doing a typical osprey neck/head maneuver as they sway while trying to watch the humans who are watching them. An osprey will often do the same head/neck sway as the bird sights in on fish just before they launch to go after their prey. Did you see the chick peeking out from under mom?

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River. Ospreys don’t often really get angry with each other and actually go after each other with talons and beaks at the ready. This morning 2 male ospreys got very angry. I don’t know what started the argument because there were no osprey nests nearby to cause a territory dispute (those kind of disputes are almost always a lot of screaming and mild threats). I wondered if the osprey being chased was an immature bird, from last year, and had some how gotten on the wrong side of the other bird. I couldn’t see enough the plumage or eye color to know that. I was just glad to see the threatened bird fly out of the mouth of the tailrace and safely away. PS: the smudges and soft focus are the result of my determined efforts to shoot through the trees on the riprap…life in the photographer’s lane…